F Street Faithful
by Matthew Tate on 06/22/12 at 10:30 PM ET
The Washington Capitals acquired center Mike Ribeiro from the Dallas Stars for Cody Eakin and a 2012 second rounder (54th overall). The Capitals, and us fans, are hoping that McPhee has finally found the 2nd line center he has been looking for since Sergei Fedorov left in 2009.
Mike Ribeiro (32) is coming off his 6th season with the Dallas Stars. In his 74 games played last season, he scored 18 goals and 45 assists. He averaged just over 20 minutes a game last season, more than any other Stars forward. The one knock on his game is that despite being the top center for Dallas, he was not entrusted with many faceoffs. His 808 faceoffs ranked him 3rd on the Stars last season and he only won 42.2% of them, a number I would like to see improve a tad. He is in the final year of a contract that will see him make $5 million next season.
It is hard not to like this trade. Cody Eakin was at least another season away from vying for a full-time spot on the Capitals. Even then, there was no guarantee that Eakin would be a large contributor in the years to come. Ribeiro, however, should make a large impact on the Capitals next year. He will obviously help the second line produce on a more consistent basis, his presence should also help the top line. Without a solid 2nd line center last year, the Caps allowed opposing defenses to focus on the Ovechkin line.
Now that the Capitals have gone out and got their center, the question remains about who he will be pivoting. I can only assume that Marcus Johansson will stick on the wings, and should be able to consistently produce with Ribiero. Should they choose to move Johansson back to center (imagine him and Chimera on the same line), Brooks Laich would surely find his goal number back in the 20s. The LW spot will remain a mystery. Should Alex Semin ultimately decide to move on, the Caps should still be able to have some cap space to make a play at the likes of Ray Whitney or Alexi Ponikarovsky. What a start to the offseason.
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Welcome to the home of the F Street Faithful, run by Matthew Tate. This is a go-to blog for all things related to the Washington Capitals. The F Street Faithful is 5% news and 95% breaking down the news.
In the past I have written for several other sports blogs as well as the college newspaper while at York College of Pennsylvania. I am a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania but am based out of Southern Maryland.
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